|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on May 19, 2014|
Upon agreement of China and the League of Arab States, the 6th ministerial meeting of the China-Arab Cooperation Forum will be held in Beijing on June 5. Foreign ministers or representatives from China and Arab states as well as the Secretary-General of the Arab League will attend the meeting.
This year's ministerial meeting coincides with the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the China-Arab Cooperation Forum. Attendees will have comprehensive and in-depth discussions on the development of the forum, China-Arab relations, enhancement of practical cooperation between China and Arab states in various fields as well as international and regional issues of common interest.
This meeting is of great significance to further deepening Sino-Arab strategic cooperative relations of overall cooperation and common development under the new circumstances. Both parties will take this opportunity to sum up the experience and achievements in building the Forum, and better plan the future direction and priorities of Sino-Arab friendly cooperation. We believe that with the joint efforts from both China and the Arab League, this meeting is sure to reach the expected goals and elevate Sino-Arab strategic cooperative relations to a new level.
At the invitation of Yun Byung-se, Foreign Minister of the Republic of Korea (ROK), Foreign Minister Wang Yi will pay an official visit to the ROK from May 26 to May 27.
After the severe violent acts against foreign companies and citizens in Vietnam took place, Chinese party and government leaders are gravely concerned about the safety of Chinese personnel in Vietnam. Starting from May 17, the Chinese side has organized chartered planes and ships to Vietnam to bring back Chinese citizens. A chartered plane with medical facilities onboard and China Southern Airlines flights have taken back 307 people affected in the violent acts in Ha Tinh province, including all those injured. Four ferries namely Wuzhishan, Tongguling, Zijing 12 and Baishiling under the coordination of the transportation authorities are to pick up around 4,000 Chinese citizens at Vung Ang port of Ha Tinh province. The four ferries have all arrived at the port today. Chinese citizens have gone on board in order, and the ferries are to sail back to China this afternoon. During this period of time, the cross-sectoral working group sent by the Chinese government and Chinese diplomatic and consular missions in Vietnam have made proactive efforts in Hanoi, Ha Tinh and other places to ensure that Chinese citizens come back home safe and sound. Moreover, some Chinese citizens headed to Cambodia in recent days to seek safety. China appreciates the Cambodian side for offering convenience and assistance to those Chinese citizens. The Chinese embassy in Cambodia also attends to them.
China has raised the level of its travel warning for Chinese citizens to go to Vietnam, advising them not to go there for the time being and has suspended some of the bilateral exchange plans. China will consider taking further steps depending on how the situation plays out.
Q: The P5+1 and the EU held the 4th round of negotiation on a comprehensive agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue with Iran in Vienna the other day. How does China evaluate this round of negotiation? What are China's expectations for the next round of negotiation?
A: Last week, the P5+1 and Iran held the 4th round of negotiation on a comprehensive agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue in Vienna. Both parties have started drafting the comprehensive agreement, and the negotiation has now reached the deep-water zone. Given the sensitiveness and complexity of certain issues, it is no plain sailing for the negotiation. However, all parties have exhibited their sincere hopes for a comprehensive agreement at an early date.
China hopes that all parties can stick with equal-footed consultation, accommodate each other's concerns, and translate positive political willingness into a comprehensive agreement that is mutually beneficial and pursues win-win results at an early date. We will continue to contribute positive energy to pushing forward the negotiation.
Q: Right now, the ROK Foreign Ministry also released the information about Foreign Minister Wang Yi's visit to the ROK from May 26 to 27. Can you tell us the major topics and agenda of this visit? What are China's expectations for this visit?
A: During this visit, Foreign Minister Wang Yi will pay an official call on the ROK leadership and hold talks with his Korean counterpart Yun Byung-se.
In the past few years, China-ROK relations have registered notable progress, and foreign ministries of China and the ROK have maintained frequent exchanges and consultations. During this visit to the ROK, Foreign Minister Wang Yi will exchange views with the ROK side on further promotion of bilateral relations and the current situation on the Korean Peninsula.